Youtheory® is a California based company and lifestyle brand. Their #1 selling collagen supplement is now available in Japan. Here we introduce Youtheory ambassador UKICO, a singer-songwriter and creator with ties to both France and Japan. She makes it a point to maintain a healthy body and mind through meditation and diet to fuel her creativity and stay balanced no matter the situation.
UKICO leads the erratic life of an artist, staying up late or waking up early to tap into her full creative potential. While she may not keep to a strict schedule, she follows a diligent daily routine that begins with meditation. As soon as she wakes up, she drinks a glass of water and starts meditating for anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. “It sets the tone for my day,” she claims. “If I miss my window and start my day without meditating, it can have a significant impact on my wellbeing for the entire day.” She waits to have breakfast, allowing her stomach to wake up naturally and instead drinks another glass of water with a handful of supplements that include turmeric, cranberry, and B12. She also takes Youtheory collagen, which has a significant impact on her overall skin health. “Collagen is a great way to embrace, and soften, the natural aging process,” she says.
While it is now an essential part of her daily routine, she only began meditation in her mid-twenties. “I had a lot of questions about myself and about life itself around that time,” she says. “I was looking for a tool to help me find myself as I started my journey of self-discovery.” Meditation, together with yoga, became that tool, and she soon found herself on a month-long retreat in Sri Lanka, where she focused on meditation and classical Indian yoga. After returning to Tokyo, she realized that her diet until then, which included meat and alcohol, now detracted from her physical wellbeing. Over the course of her one-month vegetarian retreat, her body had learned to absorb nutrients differently, and she became more in tune with her body than ever before.
Modern diets across the developed world are dominated by processed foods, which can lead to health problems such as clogging the digestive tract. That is why UKICO is particular about what she puts in her body. Youtheory’s supplements, for example, are ethically and sustainably sourced in addition to being truly healthy. But processed junk foods aren’t the only issue. Meat and dairy products, for example, can cause the body to feel heavier, which makes it harder to stay focused, be positive, and maintain clarity of mind. But everyone has different needs—both dietary and physical—and recommends trying different things to see what works. For UKICO, meditation, exercise, diet, and supplements are what support her physical and emotional health, staying true to the adage that “you are what you eat.”
Beauty emanates from the inside out. The supplements that UKICO takes include Youtheory collagen, which is proven to contribute to skin health. Other vital aspects of her skincare routine include caring for her skin twice a day, which begins with a deep cleanse to remove damaged skin cells. “Beyond scrubbing, I adapt my care with the weather and the condition of my skin, but I always apply serum, cream, and oil in the morning and at night,” she says. “Often, I’ll forgo makeup for some sunscreen.” Sunlight is a major contributor to skin aging, so sunscreen is a must for maintaining skin health.
UKICO believes that one’s “inner glow” is more important than any kind of makeup. She says that meditation, exercise, and diet, including supplements, are what contribute the most to inner glow. “Keeping your skin healthy does more than even the best makeup,” she explains. She also uses a rose quartz roller to detoxify and stimulate lymphatic drainage in order to keep her skin looking healthy and bright. Many skin-related issues and imbalances can be resolved using natural methods and ingredients, she notes, indicative of a journey that has led her from meditation and yoga to essential oils and natural supplements. Because when you have healthy and glowing skin, you find confidence and shine from within.
Everyone knows how stressful the ups and downs of life can be. UKICO has learned to embrace the pressures of daily life through meditation and exercise. In addition to running up to three times a week, she also jumps rope for around 10 minutes to ramp up her cardio workout. “I used to do yoga every day, but with the stress brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I now prefer working up a sweat.” Hot salt-infused baths are another way to let off steam. The Japanese idea of shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing,” has also been an inspiration during the pandemic, and UKICO can often be found in parks communing with nature, which has proved to be a powerful healing tool for her.
At the heart of her philosophy to life is meditation without medication. She says that for her, happiness is realizing that life is a series of ups and downs and to accept—and even embrace—the joy and pain that accompany life. “I love the ups, of course,” she says, “but I have also learned to love the downs because they provide an energy that pushes me to create or to take better care of myself.” Realizing this has allowed UKICO to grow and blossom into the artist she is today.
“Growth is the most important thing in life,” UKICO says. “Not growth towards a particular end, but growth itself as a process.” Despite her successful career as one of Tokyo’s top models, she left her achievements to pursue a career as an artist and music engineer in New York. One big difference between her life as a model and her newly chosen path was the release and freedom it brought. “When I was working solely as a model, I didn’t feel centered,” she explains. “I feel much happier as an artist, where I can express my feelings and emotions through sounds, stories, my body, and my voice.” This aspect of self-actualization has been an essential part of her career. “With art, you have the freedom to express who you are, to connect with your soul, to create something, to share and convey emotion to people. You can create moments with—and for—others.” These can be the most influential moments of a person’s life: bonding with friends or encountering your future life partner at a concert.
Everything UKICO has been through culminated in a learning experience that has helped her grow as a person. Throughout her multifaceted career, she has grown through meditation, self-care, and creative expression, all of which have helped her become more balanced. “I want to use my voice to support and help others find their own voice,” she says. As a musician, she loves all of the emotions that sound can evoke, both happy and sad. “I love crying with music,” she adds. With the healing potential within song and performance, UKICO is dreaming of putting on concerts that can expand the mind, body, and soul through an immersive experience that engages the five senses.
“At this stage in my journey in life, I want my music, wellness workshops, and charity work to be an inspiration for others,” she explains. Like Youtheory, which supports various causes, UKICO is passionate about helping others, whether as an inspirational figure, a creative spirit, or through her charity work. She is the founder of All Four One, a project she launched with fellow artists CrystalKay, Sumire, and TIGARAH to encourage awareness of mental health issues during the coronavirus pandemic.
Youtheory’s goal is to create pure and innovative supplements. The company travels the world to source the highest quality raw materials and oversees the entire manufacturing process from farm to shelf. They are committed to best-in-class manufacturing processes to guarantee the purity, potency, and traceability of every product. A healthier, beautiful, and better life is at the heart of everything Youtheory does.
Born in Paris to a Japanese mother and French father, UKICO (pronounced Yukiko) is an artist, creator, singer-songwriter, music producer, and former model currently based in Tokyo. She started her modeling career at eighteen, traveling between Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Paris, and Barcelona, all while going to Sorbonne University in Paris. After graduation, she moved to Tokyo, where her modeling career took off in campaigns for companies like Shiseido, Uniqlo, Château Mercian, Platinum Guild, Daihatsu, Honda, Samantha Thavasa. She has also graced the cover of numerous other magazines and publications.
But her true passion has always lied in creation. She decided to pursue her creativity seriously by moving to New York City, where she studied music engineering and production in addition to singing and songwriting. Moving to New York was a giant transition, and she found meditation to be an incredible tool to help with the stress and emotional roller coaster that can accompany significant life changes.
Her new album Ascension is scheduled to be released at the end of April 2021